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in brief: doctor slammed for personal anti-abortion campaign

image via News Ltd

image via News Ltd

A pro-life Victorian doctor has been cited by fellow professionals as enacting a personal campaign contradicting the state’s abortion laws.

Dr Mark Hobart has refused to refer patients for an abortion based on his religious beliefs, construing his involvement as ‘accomplice to murder’.

Victoria is the only state in Australia to allow abortion in the first 24 weeks on request, or after 24 weeks if two doctors give a referral.

Former Victorian health services commissioner, Beth Wilson told the Herald Sun that Dr Hobart and the Doctors 4 Freedom of Conscience group were ‘[eroding] the rights of women that have been so hard fought for’.

Dr Hobart only came under the scrutiny of the Medical Board of Australia, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, after refusing to refer a couple to another doctor for requesting an abortion on sex-selective grounds at 19 weeks.

He submitted to a Victorian inquiry on abortion in 2011, saying that the procedure ‘is committing a mortal sin’ and would apparently condemn women and couples to hell.

Dr Hobart stands to lose the right to practice across Australia but has said he does not worry about losing his place on the medical register anymore.

5 thoughts on “in brief: doctor slammed for personal anti-abortion campaign

  1. That’s disgusting. I can’t imagine forcing any woman to carry out a pregnancy which she doesn’t want. Religious people often come up with arguments like the ‘sanctity of life’ but I think it’s pretty clear we couldn’t care less about the sanctity of life. War, famine, slavery, genocide, to mention only a few of the atrocities we have committed as a species, makes the ‘sanctity of life’ argument totally untenable and downright hypocritical. If carrying out a pregnancy is going to cause a woman any kind of distress – for whatever reason – then she has the right to terminate her pregnancy.
    Similarly for ‘life begins at conception’. I propose this: if women have the power to bear life why can’t they have the power to end life? Obviously, I’m not advocating murder but the final choice rests with the woman. It’s ridiculous to suggest that women aren’t capable of making rational decisions about their lives and to contradict them, or even worse, force them to undergo an unwanted pregnancy just makes everything that much more terrifying for them.
    What pro-life advocates aren’t thinking about is people. I wouldn’t want to cause anyone extreme distress because of an idea. What about the child? If you are raised feeling that you are unwanted or unloved, surely this must have some psychological repercussions? We don’t want to raise children who become depressed or psychologically damaged adults. Similarly, if the mother doesn’t want to carry out the pregnancy because she would not be able to adequately provide for the child, the situation will be detrimental to both mother and child, causing further mental distress. Men like Mark Hobart really haven’t thought anything through.

  2. …People who request gender-based abortions are in a minority in the West and they aren’t usually a symptom of larger sexist attitudes. It may be a problem in countries like China (one child policy and boys being more ‘useful’) but to target those kind of abortions is missing the point. The real problems are actually to do with cultural attitudes towards women.

  3. But Carli, this guy isn’t ‘forcing’ women to carry through a pregnancy at all. Just refusing to refer them on; if the women wish they can find out for themselves. I sympathise with him on that actually; a doctor should not be made to do something he fundamentally disagrees with.

    And there’s a kicker in this story that might give you pause for thought, ie – ‘Dr Hobart only came under the scrutiny of the Medical Board of Australia, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, after refusing to refer a couple to another doctor for requesting an abortion on sex-selective grounds at 19 weeks.’

    An abortion on sex-selective grounds! Do we want to go down this path as a society – aborting girl babies because boys are better, or boy babies because girls are better?

  4. Whoops. Sorry. Cara! Not Carli!

    The other issue is: how many doctors hold similar views and continue to practice either because they haven’t been reported or because they have shrewdly avoided scrutiny? There must be a few; the Catholic hospital system is quite large. If we don’t want doctors like this, how many are we willing to put out of work? How large an impact on our health system are we willing to tolerate?

  5. Pingback: in brief: melbourne doctor believes women seeking abortions deserve to die | lip magazine

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